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Bengaluru top cop, two other officers move HC against lower court probe order

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 25-11-2021 Arun Dev

Bengaluru police commissioner Kamal Pant and two other officers moved the Karnataka high court a day after a lower court on Tuesday ordered a probe against them for allegedly delaying the filing of a First Information Report (FIR) against former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi in an alleged sexual harassment case.

Adarsh R Iyer, who filed a private complaint in the lower court, said he approached a police station to file a complaint against the officers on March 17 for the delay but no action was taken. Subsequently, he unsuccessfully took up the matter with deputy police commissioner (Central) MN Anuchet on April 1. “The delay from the officers to file an FIR (against the minister) based on the complaint of social activist Dinesh Kallahalli amounts to a case under Section 166A (public servant disobeying direction under the law) of the IPC (Indian Penal Code). I approached the court seeking action against officers under this section as police did not respond to my complaints.”

In their petition in the high court, Pant, Anuchet, and B Maruti, the police station in-charge, argued that the lower court passed the order without mentioning whether Iyer’s allegations would amount to action against the officers. The plea said an FIR is registered based on the complaint given by the victim.

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The high court is likely to hear the matter on Thursday.

Jarkiholi was forced to resign as a minister in March when Kalahalli lodged a complaint of sexual harassment and exploitation against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party leader. Kalahalli withdrew the complaint within five days. He claimed he was distressed by the allegation that he had lodged the complaint for money. Police did not register an FIR saying the woman, who was allegedly harassed has to appear before them. They subsequently dropped the investigation.

On March 11, Karnataka home minister Basavaraj Bommai announced the formation of a Special Investigation Team to probe the case. The woman later filed a complaint through her lawyers, as police insisted that an FIR will be filed only based on her complaint.

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